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To examine energy drink consumption among adolescents in the UK and associations with deprivation and dietary inequalities.
Quantitative dietary and demographic data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) repeated cross-sectional survey were analysed using logistic regression models. Qualitative data from semi-structured interviews were analysed using inductive thematic analysis.
Quantitative data: nationally representative sample of 2587 adolescents aged 11–18 years. Qualitative data: 20 parents, 9 teachers and 28 adolescents from Hampshire, UK.
NDNS data showed adolescents’ consumption of energy drinks was associated with poorer dietary quality (OR 0·46 per sd; 95 % CI (0·37, 0·58); P < 0·001). Adolescents from more deprived areas and lower income households were more likely to consume energy drinks than those in more affluent areas and households (OR 1·40; 95 % CI (1·16, 1·69); P < 0·001; OR 0·98 per £1000; 95 % CI (0·96, 0·99); P < 0·001, respectively). Between 2008 and 2016, energy drink consumption among adolescents living in the most deprived areas increased, but decreased among those living in the most affluent neighbourhoods (P = 0·04). Qualitative data identified three themes. First, many adolescents drink energy drinks because of their friends and because the unbranded drinks are cheap. Second, energy drink consumption clusters with other unhealthy eating behaviours and adolescents do not know why energy drinks are unhealthy. Third, adolescents believe voluntary bans in retail outlets and schools do not work.
This study supports the introduction of age-dependent legal restrictions on the sale of energy drinks which may help curb existing socio-economic disparities in adolescents’ energy drink intake.
There is increasing interest in modelling longitudinal dietary data and classifying individuals into subgroups (latent classes) who follow similar trajectories over time. These trajectories could identify population groups and time points amenable to dietary interventions. This paper aimed to provide a comparison and overview of two latent class methods: group-based trajectory modelling (GBTM) and growth mixture modelling (GMM). Data from 2963 mother–child dyads from the longitudinal Southampton Women’s Survey were analysed. Continuous diet quality indices (DQI) were derived using principal component analysis from interviewer-administered FFQ collected in mothers pre-pregnancy, at 11- and 34-week gestation, and in offspring at 6 and 12 months and 3, 6–7 and 8–9 years. A forward modelling approach from 1 to 6 classes was used to identify the optimal number of DQI latent classes. Models were assessed using the Akaike and Bayesian information criteria, probability of class assignment, ratio of the odds of correct classification, group membership and entropy. Both methods suggested that five classes were optimal, with a strong correlation (Spearman’s = 0·98) between class assignment for the two methods. The dietary trajectories were categorised as stable with horizontal lines and were defined as poor (GMM = 4 % and GBTM = 5 %), poor-medium (23 %, 23 %), medium (39 %, 39 %), medium-better (27 %, 28 %) and best (7 %, 6 %). Both GBTM and GMM are suitable for identifying dietary trajectories. GBTM is recommended as it is computationally less intensive, but results could be confirmed using GMM. The stability of the diet quality trajectories from pre-pregnancy underlines the importance of promotion of dietary improvements from preconception onwards.
We investigated the feasibility of recruiting patients unemployed for more than 3 months with chronic pain using a range of methods in primary care in order to conduct a pilot trial of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) to improve quality of life outcomes for people with chronic pain.
This research was informed by people with chronic pain. We assessed the feasibility of identification and recruitment of unemployed patients; the training and support needs of employment support workers to integrate with pain services; acceptability of randomisation, retention through follow-up and appropriate outcome measures for a definitive trial. Participants randomised to IPS received integrated support from an employment support worker and a pain occupational therapist to prepare for, and take up, a work placement. Those randomised to Treatment as Usual (TAU) received a bespoke workbook, delivered at an appointment with a research nurse not trained in vocational rehabilitation.
Using a range of approaches, recruitment through primary care was difficult and resource-intensive (1028 approached to recruit 37 eligible participants). Supplementing recruitment through pain services, another 13 people were recruited (total n = 50). Randomisation to both arms was acceptable: 22 were allocated to IPS and 28 to TAU. Recruited participants were generally not ‘work ready’, particularly if recruited through pain services.
A definitive randomised controlled trial is not currently feasible for recruiting through primary care in the UK. Although a trial recruiting through pain services might be possible, participants could be unrepresentative in levels of disability and associated health complexities. Retention of participants over 12 months proved challenging, and methods for reducing attrition are required. The intervention has been manualised.
Estimation of pre-pregnancy weight is difficult because measurements taken before pregnancy are rarely available. No studies have compared various ‘proxy’ measures using recalled weight or based on early pregnancy weight with actual measurements of pre-pregnancy weight. The Southampton Women’s Survey recruited women during 1998–2002 who were not pregnant. Data on 198 women with an estimated date of conception within 3 months of recruitment were analysed. Three proxy measures were considered: (1) recalled pre-pregnancy weight obtained during early pregnancy, (2) measured weight in early pregnancy and (3) estimated pre-pregnancy weight using a published model. Mean (standard deviation) recalled weight was 1.65 (3.03) kg lighter than measured pre-pregnancy weight, while early pregnancy weight and weights from the published model were 0.88 (2.34) and 0.88 (2.33) kg heavier, respectively. The Bland–Altman limits of agreement for recalled weight were −7.59 to 4.29 kg, wider than those for the early pregnancy weight: −3.71 to 5.47 kg and the published model: −3.68 to 5.45 kg. For estimating pre-pregnancy weight, we recommend subtraction of 0.88 kg from early pregnancy weight or the published model, or addition of 1.65 kg to recalled weight. Estimates of pre-pregnancy body mass index and gestational weight gain categories were very similar when using early pregnancy and published model weights, but they differed from those using recalled weight. Our findings indicate that calculations of first trimester weight gain using recalled weight must be treated cautiously, and a measured weight in early pregnancy provides a more precise assessment of pre-pregnancy weight than recalled weight.
The foetal programming hypothesis posits that optimising early life factors e.g. maternal diets can help avert the burden of adverse childhood outcomes e.g. childhood obesity. To improve applicability to public health messaging, we investigated whether maternal whole diet quality and inflammatory potential influence childhood adiposity in a large consortium.
We harmonized and pooled individual participant data from up to 8,769 mother-child pairs in 7 European mother-offspring cohorts. Maternal early-, late-, and whole-pregnancy dietary quality and inflammatory potential were assessed with Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and energy-adjusted Dietary Inflammatory Index (E-DII), respectively. Primary outcome was childhood overweight and obesity (OWOB), defined as age- and sex-specific body-mass-index-z score (BMIz) > 85th percentile based on WHO growth standard. Secondary outcomes were sum-of-skinfold-thickness (SST), fat-mass-index (FMI) and fat-free-mass-index (FFMI) in available cohorts. Outcomes were assessed in early- [mean (SD) age: 2.8 (0.3) y], mid- [6.2 (0.6) y], and late-childhood [10.6 (1.2) y]. We used multivariable regression analyses to assess the associations of maternal E-DII and DASH with offspring adiposity outcomes in cohort-specific analyses, with subsequent random-effects meta-analyses. Analyses were adjusted for maternal age, pre-pregnancy BMI, parity, lifestyle factors, energy intake, educational attainment, offspring age and sex.
A more pro-inflammatory maternal diet, indicated by higher E-DII, was associated with a higher risk of offspring late-childhood OWOB [pooled-OR (95% CI) comparing highest vs. lowest E-DII quartiles: 1.22 (1.01,1.47) for whole-pregnancy and 1.38 (1.05,1.83) for early-pregnancy; both P < 0.05]. Moreover, higher late-pregnancy E-DII was associated with higher mid-childhood FMI [pooled-β (95% CI): 0.11 (0.003,0.22) kg/m2; P < 0.05]; trending association was observed for whole-pregnancy E-DII [0.12 (-0.01,0.25) kg/m2; P = 0.07]. A higher maternal dietary quality, indicated by higher DASH score, showed a trending inverse association with late-childhood OWOB (pooled-OR (95% CI) comparing highest vs. lowest DASH quartiles: 0.58 (0.32,1.02; P = 0.06). Higher early-pregnancy DASH was associated with lower late-childhood SST [pooled-β (95% CI): -1.9 (-3.6,-0.1) cm; P < 0.05] and tended to be associated with lower late-childhood FMI [-0.34 (-0.71,0.04) kg/m2; P = 0.08]. Higher whole-pregnancy DASH tended to associate with lower early-childhood SST [-0.33 (-0.72,0.06) cm; P = 0.10]. Results were similar when modelling DASH and E-DII continuously.
Analysis of pooled data suggests that pro-inflammatory, low-quality maternal antenatal diets may influence offspring body composition and obesity risk, especially during mid- or late-childhood. Due to variation of data availability at each timepoint, our results should be interpreted with caution. Because most associations were observed at mid-childhood or later, future studies will benefit from a longer follow-up.
Arachidonic acid (ARA) and DHA, supplied primarily from the mother, are required for early development of the central nervous system. Thus, variations in maternal ARA or DHA status may modify neurocognitive development. We investigated the relationship between maternal ARA and DHA status in early (11·7 weeks) or late (34·5 weeks) pregnancy on neurocognitive function at the age of 4 years or 6–7 years in 724 mother–child pairs from the Southampton Women’s Survey cohort. Plasma phosphatidylcholine fatty acid composition was measured in early and late pregnancy. ARA concentration in early pregnancy predicted 13 % of the variation in ARA concentration in late pregnancy (β=0·36, P<0·001). DHA concentration in early pregnancy predicted 21 % of the variation in DHA concentration in late pregnancy (β=0·46, P<0·001). Children’s cognitive function at the age of 4 years was assessed by the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence and at the age of 6–7 years by the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence. Executive function at the age of 6–7 years was assessed using elements of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Neither DHA nor ARA concentrations in early or late pregnancy were associated significantly with neurocognitive function in children at the age of 4 years or the age of 6–7 years. These findings suggest that ARA and DHA status during pregnancy in the range found in this cohort are unlikely to have major influences on neurocognitive function in healthy children.
To explore associations between dietary quality and access to different types of food outlets around both home and school in primary school-aged children.
Cross-sectional observational study.
Children (n 1173) in the Southampton Women’s Survey underwent dietary assessment at age 6 years by FFQ and a standardised diet quality score was calculated. An activity space around each child’s home and school was created using ArcGIS. Cross-sectional observational food outlet data were overlaid to derive four food environment measures: counts of supermarkets, healthy specialty stores (e.g. greengrocers), fast-food outlets and total number of outlets, and a relative measure representing healthy outlets (supermarkets and specialty stores) as a proportion of total retail and fast-food outlets.
In univariate multilevel linear regression analyses, better diet score was associated with exposure to greater number of healthy specialty stores (β=0·025 sd/store: 95 % CI 0·007, 0·044) and greater exposure to healthy outlets relative to all outlets in children’s activity spaces (β=0·068 sd/10 % increase in healthy outlets as a proportion of total outlets, 95 % CI 0·018, 0·117). After adjustment for mothers’ educational qualification and level of home neighbourhood deprivation, the relationship between diet and healthy specialty stores remained robust (P=0·002) while the relationship with the relative measure weakened (P=0·095). Greater exposure to supermarkets and fast-food outlets was associated with better diet only in the adjusted models (P=0·017 and P=0·014, respectively).
The results strengthen the argument for local authorities to increase the number of healthy food outlets to which young children are exposed.
To explore influences on diet in a group of community-dwelling older adults in the UK.
Data were collected through focus group discussions with older people; discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and transcripts analysed thematically.
Participants were sampled purposively from the Hertfordshire Cohort Study, focusing on those whose diets had been assessed at two time points: 1998–2001 and 2011.
Ninety-two adults participated (47 % women; 74–83 years) and eleven focus groups were held. A number of age-related factors were identified that were linked to food choices, including lifelong food experiences, retirement, bereavement and medical conditions, as well as environmental factors (such as transport). There appeared to be variability in how individuals responded to these influences, indicating that other underlying factors may mediate the effects of age-related factors on diet. Discussions about ‘keeping going’, being motivated to ‘not give up’, not wanting to be perceived as ‘old’, as well as examples of resilience and coping strategies, suggest the importance of mediating psychological factors. In addition, discussion about social activities and isolation, community spirit and loneliness, indicated the importance of social engagement as an influence on diet.
Interventions to promote healthier diets in older age should take account of underlying psychological and social factors that influence diet, which may mediate the effects of age-related factors.
Prenatal low vitamin D may have consequences for bone health. By means of a nationwide mandatory vitamin D fortification programme, we examined the risk of fractures among 10–18-year-old children from proximate birth cohorts born around the date of the termination of the programme. For all subjects born in Denmark during 1983–1988, civil registration numbers were linked to the Danish National Patient Registry for incident and recurrent fractures occurring at ages 10–18 years. Multiplicative Poisson models were used to examine the association between birth cohort and fracture rates. The variation in fracture rates across birth cohorts was analysed by fitting an age-cohort model to the data. We addressed the potential modification of the effect of vitamin D availability by season of birth. The risk of fractures was increased among both girls and boys who were born before the vitamin D fortification terminated in 1985 (rate ratio (RR) exposed v. non-exposed girls: 1·15 (95 % CI 1·11, 1·20); RR exposed v. non-exposed boys: 1·11 (95 % CI 1·07, 1·14). However, these associations no longer persisted after including the period effects. There was no interaction between season of birth and vitamin D availability in relation to fracture risk. The study did not provide evidence that prenatal exposure to extra vitamin D from a mandatory fortification programme of 1·25 µg vitamin D/100 g margarine was sufficient to influence the risk of fractures in late childhood, regardless of season of birth. Replication studies are needed.
To test the hypothesis that maternal psychological profiles relate to children’s quality of diet.
Cross-sectional study. Mothers provided information on their health-related psychological factors and aspects of their child’s mealtime environment. Children’s diet quality was assessed using an FFQ from which weekly intakes of foods and a diet Z-score were calculated. A high score described children with a better quality diet. Cluster analysis was performed to assess grouping of mothers based on psychological factors. Mealtime characteristics, describing how often children ate while sitting at a table or in front of the television, their frequency of takeaway food consumption, maternal covert control and food security, and children’s quality of diet were examined, according to mothers’ cluster membership.
Mother–child pairs (n 324) in the Southampton Initiative for Health. Children were aged 2–5 years.
Two main clusters were identified. Mothers in cluster 1 had significantly higher scores for all psychological factors than mothers in cluster 2 (all P<0·001). Clusters were termed ‘more resilient’ and ‘less resilient’, respectively. Children of mothers in the less resilient cluster ate meals sitting at a table less often (P=0·03) and watched more television (P=0·01). These children had significantly poorer-quality diets (β=−0·61, 95 % CI −0·82, −0·40, P≤0·001). This association was attenuated, but remained significant after controlling for confounding factors that included maternal education and home/mealtime characteristics (P=0·006).
The study suggests that mothers should be offered psychological support as part of interventions to improve children’s quality of diet.
Low weight at birth has previously been shown to be associated with a number of adult diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and obesity later in life. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been published for singleton-born individuals, but the role of genetic variation in birth weight (BW) in twins has not yet been fully investigated. A GWAS was performed in 4,593 female study participants with BW data available from the TwinsUK cohort. A genome-wide significant signal was found in chromosome 9, close to the NTRK2 gene (OMIM: 600456). QIMR, an Australian twin cohort (n = 3,003), and UK-based singleton-birth individuals from the Hertfordshire cohort (n = 2,997) were used as replication for the top two single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) underpinning this signal, rs12340987 and rs7849941. The top SNP, rs12340987, was found to be in the same direction in the Australian twins and in the singleton-born females (fixed effects meta-analysis beta = -0.13, SE = 0.02, and p = 1.48 × 10−8) but not in the singleton-born males tested. These findings provide an important insight into the genetic component of BW in twins who are normally excluded due to their lower BW when compared with singleton births, as well as the difference in BW between twins. The NTRK2 gene identified in this study has previously been associated with obesity.
To evaluate the use of an administered eighty-item FFQ to assess nutrient intake and diet quality in 3-year-old children.
Frequency of consumption and portion size of the foods listed on the FFQ during the 3 months preceding the interview were reported by the child's main caregiver; after the interview a 2 d prospective food diary (FD) was completed on behalf of the child. Nutrient intakes from the FFQ and FD were estimated using UK food composition data. Diet quality was assessed from the FFQ and FD according to the child's scores for a principal component analysis-defined dietary pattern (‘prudent’ pattern), characterised by high consumption of fruit, vegetables, water and wholemeal cereals.
Children (n 892) aged 3 years in the Southampton Women's Survey.
Intakes of all nutrients assessed by the FFQ were higher than FD estimates, but there was reasonable agreement in terms of ranking of children (range of Spearman rank correlations for energy-adjusted nutrient intakes, rs = 0·41 to 0·59). Prudent diet scores estimated from the FFQ and FD were highly correlated (r = 0·72). Some family and child characteristics appeared to influence the ability of the FFQ to rank children, most notably the number of child's meals eaten away from home.
The FFQ provides useful information to allow ranking of children at this age with respect to nutrient intake and quality of diet, but may overestimate absolute intakes. Dietary studies of young children need to consider family and child characteristics that may impact on reporting error associated with an FFQ.
(i) To assess change in confidence in having conversations that support parents with healthy eating and physical activity post-training. (ii) To assess change in staff competence in using ‘open discovery’ questions (those generally beginning with ‘how’ and ‘what’ that help individuals reflect and identify barriers and solutions) post-training. (iii) To examine the relationship between confidence and competence post-training.
A pre–post evaluation of ‘Healthy Conversation Skills’, a staff training intervention.
Sure Start Children's Centres in Southampton, England.
A total of 145 staff working in Sure Start Children's Centres completed the training, including play workers (43 %) and community development or family support workers (35 %).
We observed an increase in median confidence rating for having conversations about healthy eating and physical activity (both P < 0·001), and in using ‘open discovery’ questions (P < 0·001), after staff attended the ‘Healthy Conversation Skills’ training. We also found a positive relationship between the use of ‘open discovery’ questions and confidence in having conversations about healthy eating post-training (r = 0·21, P = 0·01), but a non-significant trend was observed for having conversations about physical activity (r = 0·15, P = 0·06).
The ‘Healthy Conversation Skills’ training proved effective at increasing the confidence of staff working at Sure Start Children's Centres to have more productive conversations with parents about healthy eating. Wider implementation of these skills may be a useful public health nutrition capacity building strategy to help community workers support families with young children to eat more healthy foods.
A number of studies suggest that breast-feeding has beneficial effects on an individual's cardiovascular risk factors in adulthood, although the mechanisms involved are unknown. One possible explanation is that adults who were breastfed differ in their health behaviours. In a historical cohort, adult health behaviours were examined in relation to type of milk feeding in infancy. From 1931 to 1939, records were kept on all infants born in Hertfordshire, UK. Their type of milk feeding was summarised as breastfed only, breast and bottle-fed, or bottle-fed only. Information about adult health behaviours was collected from 3217 of these men and women when they were aged 59–73 years. Diet was assessed using an administered FFQ; the key dietary pattern was a ‘prudent’ pattern that described compliance with ‘healthy’ eating recommendations. Of the study population, 60 % of the men and women were breastfed, 31 % were breast and bottle-fed, and 9 % were bottle-fed. Type of milk feeding did not differ according to social class at birth, and was not related to social class attained in adult life. There were no differences in smoking status, alcohol intake or reported physical activity according to type of milk feeding, but there were differences in the participants' dietary patterns. In a multivariate model that included sex and infant weight gain, there were independent associations between type of feeding and prudent diet scores in adult life (P= 0·009), such that higher scores were associated with having been breastfed. These data support experimental findings which suggest that early dietary exposures can have lifelong influences on food choice.
This chapter addresses the role played by influences during intrauterine or early postnatal life in establishing the risk of osteoporosis in later years. At any age, the amount and quality of an individual's skeleton reflect their experiences from intrauterine life through the years of growth into young adulthood. Epidemiological evidence that the risk of osteoporosis might be modified by the intrauterine and early postnatal environment has emerged from two groups of studies. First, the retrospective cohort studies in which bone mineral measurements were undertaken. Second, mother-offspring cohorts relating the nutrition, body build and lifestyle of pregnant women to the bone mass of their offspring. The two most-studied forms of epigenetic marking are DNA methylation and histone modification. The key nutrients likely to influence fetal bone development include calcium and vitamin D, and therefore this axis provides a model for investigating the epigenetic regulation of bone mass.
It is recognised that eating habits established in early childhood may track into adult life. Developing effective interventions to promote healthier patterns of eating throughout the life course requires a greater understanding of the diets of young children and the factors that influence early dietary patterns. In a longitudinal UK cohort study, we assessed the diets of 1640 children at age 3 years using an interviewer-administered FFQ and examined the influence of maternal and family factors on the quality of the children's diets. To describe dietary quality, we used a principal components analysis-defined pattern of foods that is consistent with healthy eating recommendations. This was termed a ‘prudent’ diet pattern and was characterised by high intakes of fruit, vegetables and wholemeal bread, but by low intakes of white bread, confectionery, chips and roast potatoes. The key influence on the quality of the children's diets was the quality of their mother's diets; alone it accounted for almost a third of the variance in child's dietary quality. Mothers who had better-quality diets, which complied with dietary recommendations, were more likely to have children with comparable diets. This relationship remained strong even after adjustment for all other factors considered, including maternal educational attainment, BMI and smoking, and the child's birth order and the time spent watching television. Our data provide strong evidence of shared family patterns of diet and suggest that interventions to improve the quality of young women's diets could be effective in improving the quality of their children's diets.
Background: The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) is widely used but evaluation of its psychometric properties has produced equivocal results. Little is known about its structure in non-clinical samples of older people.
Methods: We used data from four cohorts in the HALCyon collaborative research program into healthy aging: the Caerphilly Prospective Study, the Hertfordshire Ageing Study, the Hertfordshire Cohort Study, and the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921. We used exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis with multi-group comparisons to establish the structure of the HADS and test for factorial invariance between samples.
Results: Exploratory factor analysis showed a bi-dimensional structure (anxiety and depression) of the scale in men and women in each cohort. We tested a hypothesized three-factor model but high correlations between two of the factors made a two-factor model more psychologically plausible. Multi-group confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the sizes of the respective item loadings on the two factors were effectively identical in men and women from the same cohort. There was more variation between cohorts, particularly those from different parts of the U.K. and in whom the HADS was administered differently. Differences in social-class distribution accounted for part of this variation.
Conclusions: Scoring the HADS as two subscales of anxiety and depression is appropriate in non-clinical populations of older men and women. However, there were differences between cohorts in the way that individual items were linked with the constructs of anxiety and depression, perhaps due to differences in sociocultural factors and/or in the administration of the scale.
Osteoporosis-related fractures have a major impact on health at the individual and societal levels, through associated morbidity and increased mortality. Up to 50% of women and 20% of men at age 50 years may have a fragility fracture in their remaining lifetimes. Nutrition is important throughout the life course. Thus, adequate Ca and vitamin D intake has been shown to reduce risk of fracture in old age. Other factors such as protein and vitamin K may also be important, although the evidence here is less strong. In childhood Ca or vitamin D supplementation trials have demonstrated modest short-term increases in bone mass, but the long-term implications have not been established. Over recent years it has become apparent that maternal nutrition may have critical and far-reaching persistent consequences for offspring health. Thus, reduced maternal fat stores and low levels of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D in pregnancy are associated with reduced bone mass in the offspring; placental Ca transport may be key to these relationships. Wider maternal dietary patterns have also been shown to predict offspring bone mass. These data suggest that an interventional approach aimed at specific micronutrients, such as vitamin D, should be complemented by general optimisation of the mother's diet and lifestyle in order to maximise intrauterine bone mineral accrual and postnatal skeletal growth and thus reduce the burden of osteoporotic fractures in future generations.
The impact of variations in current infant feeding practice on bone mineral accrual is not known. We examined the associations between duration of breast-feeding and compliance with infant dietary guidelines and later bone size and density at age 4 years. At total of 599 (318 boys) mother–child pairs were recruited from the Southampton Women's Survey. Duration of breast-feeding was recorded and infant diet was assessed at 6 and 12 months using FFQ. At 6 and 12 months the most important dietary pattern, defined by principal component analysis, was characterised by high consumption of vegetables, fruits and home-prepared foods. As this was consistent with infant feeding recommendations, it was denoted the ‘infant guidelines’ pattern. At age 4 years, children underwent assessment of whole-body bone size and density using a Hologic Discovery dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry instrument. Correlation methods were used to explore the relationships between infant dietary variables and bone mineral. There was no association between duration of breast-feeding in the first year of life and 4-year bone size or density. ‘Infant guidelines’ pattern scores at 6 and 12 months were also unrelated to bone mass at age 4 years. We observed wide variations in current infant feeding practice, but these variations were not associated with differences in childhood bone mass at age 4 years.